Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrdinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: What is life?. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? Did life begin with replicating molecules, and, if so, what could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among replicating entities results in a tendency for certain chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper and more fundamental chemical principle: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous coherent chemical process governed by a simple definable principle.
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Profound & Life Changing...
This is one of the best audiobooks I've invested in on audible. As a college graduate with a BS in Biology concentrated in neuropharmacology and a minor in chemistry who's favorite course were molecular evolution and organic chemistry this was like going home.
I'd say this as a warning, if you're not familiar with terms like chirality or the process in which genes are expressed this might be a stretch from a comprehension standpoint, but if you are up for the challenge this book is absolutely worth it.
It's worth it anyway. It absolutely makes good on the title in far more comprehensive way than I expected.
For me, if I leave with with far more clarity than I started with on a subject I love, new questions about it that further my personal exploration of the subject, AND profound insights on things in realms far removed from the topic itself, that's what learning is about and that's exactly what this is.
What is life? Well, you'll find the most clear, lucid, quantifiable, and deductively valid answer to that question and a LOT more right here.
The value of the experience and permanent change to my world view FAR outweighs the cost.
- Daegan Smith
Flawless narration, great book
- A. Franco